Bankruptcy Lawyer Trades Small Practice For Big Firm

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Alderman & Alderman's Myles H. Alderman Jr.

For 22 years, Myles Alderman Jr. ran his own Hartford-based firm. He built it up from a two-lawyer shop, with his wife, Linda, being the second lawyer. He opened a New York office. And he became well-known in Connecticut and beyond for bankruptcy work, representing both creditors and debtors.

Now he's leaving the independence of running his own shop for the advantages and resources of a big law firm. He's just been named chair of the bankruptcy, creditors' rights and restructuring practice group at Halloran & Sage, a firm of about 80 attorneys that ranks in the top 10 in Connecticut in terms of annual revenues.

"I loved building my practice," Alderman said. "When my wife and I started the firm in 1992, it was really exciting, from deciding on the office space and decorating to buying the computers, and it was really great growing the firm."

However, he said, "it got to a point after 22 years that I was no longer thinking it was great fun dealing with IT issues and that sort of thing."

Myles and Linda Alderman started the firm's office in downtown Hartford together. He handled corporate litigation, bankruptcy and financial cases, while she continued with the environmental and land-use law practice she had initially established while at Robinson & Cole.

Over time, Alderman & Alderman added a number of attorneys as of counsel, mostly working out of a New York office on the Avenue of the Americas. Though perhaps best known for bankruptcy work, the Alderman firm also handled commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution and general business advice.

Clients came from industries such as construction, design, fashion, manufacturing, distribution, materials handling, retail, aviation and ground transportation. The firm represented clients from across the U.S. and Canada, and in the United Kingdom, China and Japan, among other places.

Specifically, the website of Alderman's old firm lists as clients major companies such as General Electric, Costco and Chase Bank. He also has "substantial experience resolving disputes on behalf of Subway franchisees," according to the Halloran & Sage website.

Alderman also contributes to the profession outside his practice. He is a member of the Business Bankruptcy Law Section of the American Bar Association and a member of the Business Bankruptcy Section of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

His published works include the bankruptcy law chapter of the "Connecticut Lawyers Deskbook," published by the Connecticut Bar Association, and the book "Chapter 11 Business Reorganizations: For Business Leaders, Accountants and Lawyers," published by Outskirtspress.

A turning point came in 2006, when Linda Alderman contracted a serious illness that has made it impossible for her to keep practicing.

"For the past four or five years, I was managing the place with a full-time associate, support staff and three of counsel attorneys," Alderman said.

The firm nevertheless remained successful. One of the higher-profile achievements in recent years was the reorganization of the Torrington-based Kelley Transit Company. With Alderman's help, the Litchfield County bus company was able to overcome financial difficulties and continue operating.

Over time, Alderman said, it became clear he could better serve his clients at the larger firm. While running his own firm was "really rewarding, there's only so much you can do with half a dozen people."

So when Halloran & Sage came calling with an offer, Alderman decided to take it. In his new post, he will continue to focus on business bankruptcies, Chapter 11 reorganizations, creditors' rights and commercial litigation.

"I was thrilled to come to a place with a much broader platform of services to help clients," he said.

The lawyers who worked with Alderman & Alderman, two of whom are in New York City, will now practice on their own.•

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